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Demand for Silicon Wafers Increased in Second Quarter

Worldwide silicon wafer shipments increased five percent in the second quarter despite the disruption in production caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to trade association SEMI.

Total silicon wafer area shipments were about 2.4 billion square inches in the second quarter, up from about 2.28 square inches in the first quarter. In the first quarter, silicon wafer area shipments declined by about one percent from the fourth quarter 2010.

Second quarter 2011 silicon area shipments also increased about one percent compared to the second quarter of 2010.

Dr. Volker Braetsch, chairman of SEMI SMG and corporate vice president of Siltronic AG, said it was “notable how well silicon suppliers were able to support the overall semiconductor industry” following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that damaged some wafer plants and disrupted production.

Silicon wafers are disks produced in diameters ranging from one to twelve inches and serve as the substrate material for most semiconductors.